Avery Polchinski, the back to school alum

Avery Polchinski, class of 2016, earned his bachelor’s in marketing and his master’s degree in education from UMHB while earning accolades as a Cru basketball player.
“I chose to attend UMHB not only because I wanted to play basketball there, but because it felt like home,” Polchinski said. “I can remember my first visit and I just felt like this was where I was supposed to attend college. It’s a special place filled with a lot of caring people.”
It wasn’t long before Polchinski was settling in at his alma mater and playing with the Cru basketball team. He said that his time spent with his fellow players was life-changing.
“It pushed me to my limits mentally and physically, and made me realize I can do things even when I think I can’t.”
The alumnus said the rigors of being a disciplined player helped him manage his time better and ditch the excuses.
“Everything that I have learned in basketball has prepared for me every aspect of life,” he said. “Through basketball I learned more about myself and life than the game of basketball itself.”
As a freshman, Polchinski lived in the green hall of McLane in 2011. He remembers the ups and downs of being a first-year college student, and he has some words of wisdom for those who are just beginning their time at the university.
“If I had any advice for a freshman it would have to be to follow the career choice that they would love doing, regardless of the money involved. No matter what it is, the path of happiness is far more important than the path of wealth.”
Born and raised in Temple, Polchinski has a special connection to the central Texas community and chose to stay and teach in the area after graduating from UMHB.
He currently works as a middle school math teacher and coach at Eastern Hills Middle School in Harker Heights.
He finds being teacher difficult, but rewarding.
“If I had to say one thing to future teachers, I would say this: treat each and every day as an opportunity to be a better teacher than you were the day before. Your students will be able to feed off of you, which will not only encourage them to do better, but it will make your classroom a better learning environment and help students thrive in school and in life.”
He chose to become a teacher because he wanted to make a difference in the world.
“There were many teachers that affected my life in a positive way, and I hope I can be a role model to some of my students, leading them on the path to be successful.”

Author: Tori Van Hooser

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